Friday | 29 Apr 2016

Veiby, Koci return to Junior WRC

A mix of experienced drivers and rookies make up the entries in the FIA Junior WRC which begins in Portugal next month.

Four names stand out as potential favourites from the 11 entrants for the opening round at Vodafone Rally de Portugal (19 - 22 May), the first of six European events which make up the series.

Norway’s Ole Christian Veiby, who finished runner-up in the series last year and won the final round in Wales, Martin Koci, who was third in 2014 and returns after a frustrating year in WRC 2, Simone Tempestini and Andrea Crugnola are those expected to set the pace.

However, Frenchman Terry Folb was a podium finisher in each of the last three rounds in 2015 and, with the backing of nine-time world champion Sébastien Loeb, is sure to feature strongly. Mohammed Al Mutawaa is another ‘old hand’ from last season.

The rookies include Vincent Dubert and Frédéric Hauswald, the top two finishers in the 2015 Citroën Racing Trophy in France. Romain Martel rounds off the French contingent with Pole Lukasz Pieniazek and Namibia’s Thilo Himmel completing the entries.

All will drive Citroën’s identical DS 3 R3 cars with the champion winning a drive in a DS 3 R5 at six rounds of the 2017 WRC 2 series.

The series is an essential stepping stone for ambitious young drivers and previous winners who have progressed to compete at the top level of the sport include Loeb, Dani Sordo, Sébastien Ogier, Craig Breen and Elfyn Evans.

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